Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's all about the balance......

"Nature's Child" -- SOLD
Acrylic on 9x12 canvas panel
Available through DPW gallery/auction

Read the original post about this painting by clicking here.

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An epiphany, perhaps.....

For the past few months, I've been focusing on marketing and how to get more buyers, more followers, more fans, more FB likes, more sales (starting to sound exhausting, isn't it?). And I've recently realized that it has become almost an obsession - and also that it's like chasing the elusive butterfly. 

Every day I am scouring the internet art community for blogs, articles, Facebook entries -- anything that describes, and elaborates, on how to build your business. How to get more likes (do a give away), get more followers (follow others), get more comments (take time to comment on others), and asking friends to like & share my work (some of which they haven't even looked at, but they want to be a good friend so they like it). 

And every night I'm posting a new blog entry, about some painting that was previously done or just finished. And I'm on Daily Paintworks, adding art or moving an existing piece up to be "active" on their front page the next day. There is also Facebook, and eBay, and my own website.

Now some of this is important, and a necessary effort for a business to grow. But how much? Where is the balance? And what does all this obsession yield?  All the time, I am searching for the artist/blogger/writer/person/wizard who can show me the light, has the answers, has the key, and shares it on how to be a successfully selling artist.

What is getting lost in all of this research is the sheer joy I have with art, and why I paint, and my connection to a painting. When an artist starts saying "how will this sell on the market" instead of "how does this piece make me feel" - well, I think they start going over to the "dark side" maybe a wee bit. Just my opinion, for what it's worth.

My recent art show made me start to question this a bit. That, and observing some artists on the web who are indeed selling & gathering attention. 

At the art show there was an artist next to me, John Santee, who did beautiful Asian drawings & prints. It was his first time at the show as well as mine, and he & his wife were truly very nice people. I enjoyed sharing space with them for the day (and anyone who has done a show knows that your neighbors can make a long day enjoyable, or make it something you just want to get over with!). We talked between visitors about assorted art related items. He was interested in how I "packaged" my work and prepared it to be hung. I was interested in how he could achieve such delicate lines & make the pieces flow. It was all about "balance" he said (again, there is that word balance!). 

John does not have a website (or I'd give you a link). In fact, he didn't have business cards either. No internet presence as an artist at all, just a personal email account. But that day at the show, John sold 4 good-sized paintings. He also won the 1st place award for his category. (he totally deserved it, his work is beautiful & his arrangement at the show was wonderful. No expensive extras, just a nice arrangement of work that complemented each other).

Now wait a minute! An artist with no internet exposure, no followers, no Facebook - not even a business card. And he had more sales dollars in 1 day than I've had in the past 6 months. Ok, how? What "key" did he have? 

Ok, are you ready for this? 

The "key" he had --- he loved his art, his subject & the creating of the art! That's it - that simple. He loved what he did and he wanted to share what he did with others who felt the same. Ah, the magic key! John went to the show to share what he loved, I went to the show to sell my paintings. John was in a different "place" than I was.

And it's a place where, I think, all artists start. We create because we love to. We select subjects because we feel a connection to them, and we express what we feel through the colors, textures & strokes we apply. We balance the composition so that the painting "feels right." 

But then we start to analyze, and we start to question, and ponder, and obsess. Where are the sales, where are my buyers, how can I get more, find more, sell more, make more. And the balance? It changes it's meaning and becomes a comparison of assets & liabilities, rather than compositional design. 

So where does this leave me? I think maybe with an adjustment of focus. I won't leave the internet (John admits it's his next hurdle). But I will spend less energy on how-to sell and get reacquainted with my love of art. And it's less energy, not no energy - because marketing & selling are still important. But as John's experience at the art show just showed me, "simple" can be "more". 

Or, as another John once sang, "all you need is love."


2 comments:

CrimsonLeaves said...

I don't know, Nancie. I think if you truly desire to sell your work, you do kind of have to work at it. I don't have the passion or the energy, nor can I handle the criticism. I'm not very good and I know it so I don't put anyone on the spot with my trying to sell pieces. You, on the other, are amazing. Art is subjective, as we both know. I try to paint what appeals to me and I also buy what appeals to me. It has to be soul soothing to me (maybe why I so enjoy landscapes) or unique enough to grab my interest. I also do not like to buy an original piece of art and then know that someone has been able to buy the same piece in a print. It takes away the unique aspect for me.

Of course, I think I am a whole horse of a different color anyway so don't mind my garble.

Rusty Harden said...

Nan,

Good for you!!!
What a wonderful conclusion you have drawn on the art of balance. And you expressed it beautifully. Thank you.

Rusty

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